East of Bregenz and northwest of Lech, the Warth / Schrocken ski area has 25 pistes served by 11 lifts with a maximum vertical descent of 800m. This ski area is known for plenty of off-piste freeriding with deep snowfall averaging over 11m annually. It is located on the border of Voralberg with Tirol at the very end of the Lech valley (road to Lech is closed in the winter). Warth and Schrocken are on opposite sides of Hochtannberg Pass and are interconnected by lifts and a ski bus every 20 minutes.
Warth and Schrocken are part of the larger Ski Arlberg region that interconnects by lifts/buses several resort areas including St. Anton, Lech/Zurs, Warth/Schrocken and Sonnenkopf forming the eighth largest ski region in the world. Overall, there are 305km of groomed pistes spread across 12,000 acres that served by 87 lifts with a maximum vertical descent of 1,700m. If you haven’t been to the Ski Arlberg region for a few years, you may not be familiar with Warth/Schrocken. In the winter 2013/2014 season, the 2km Auenfeldjet gondola opened that connects Warth with Lech via the Weibermahd lift top station in Lech to the Geissbuhel Alpe above Warth. This new heated 10 seat gondola follows an old power line route (now buried across the Auenfeld Pass. The other village in the Ski Arlberg region, Sonnenkopf, is accessed only by the free ski-bus from Stuben to Klosterle.
Solid intermediate riders or better will really enjoy exploring the wide range of slopes and destinations. There are plenty of traverses between lifts, so be ready to skate or hike often. Plus, many of the more remote lifts tend to be t-bars or rope tows, which are not well marked on the piste maps. Even some of the chairlifts can be challenging for the uninitiated rider with a tricky magic-carpet like access on the final 10 feet to the actual chair seat. Don’t expect the lift ops to help you when you fall since there aren’t many of them working.
At Warth / Schrocken, when you are ready for some challenging on-piste shredding, check out the black pistes under the JagerAlp chairlift. Alternately, you can head up the HochAlp chairlift to the Saloberkopf summit (2,050m) and drop towards Hochtannberg Pass on one of the black pistes. For a long adventure, don’t miss out on the Red piste #256 leading all the way down to Schrocken - while there isn’t a lift back up yet (its planned), where is a free ski bus back up every 20 minutes and you can hit the small ski bar hut while waiting. When it comes to off-piste, there’s plenty of side-country lines to explore but it’ll take about 2m of snow base to really open up. After a long morning of snowboarding at Warth, make sure to check out the Auenfelder Hutte for a good lunch.
When you’re ready to checkout Lech/Zurs, use the Sonnenjet chairlift to get around the Salberkopf and then pickup the new Auefeldjet gondola for the 2km lateral ride over to the top of the Weibermahd lift above Lech.
The village of Warth is not directly accessible by the lifts or pistes. It is either a walk or a ski bus away. Neither the villages of Warth or Schrocken have much to them and none of the base parking areas have many facilities. It seems like there is a big day-tripper crowd that comes here.
Note: a seven-night stay (Saturday arrival) is typically required at most hotels, but luckily the six-day Arlberg region lift pass is not expensive. Typically, February and early March are peak season with tons of Europeans on vacation.
Overall, Warth-Schrocken is the 39th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 52 snowboarding resorts in Austria.